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Attributes of any successful government

28 Dec 2017 at 11:27hrs | Views
Every leader must pass a litmus test for the general public to judge or determine its success. For any Government to be successful there are attributes which determines the success of any leadership. This is where most leaders get lost, they over stay in power, they become greedy, they don't want to listen to anyone, when you have different ideologies with them you become any enemy.

Good leadership is derived from constructive criticism. For one to define any Governance system they look at the attributes or the core values.

It is not like everyone wants to be a president in Zimbabwe but basically there are fundamental issues that people expect from any Government of the day and once you fail to pass the test then you are finished. Most leaders they finish themselves because of the following greedy, selfishness, human rights issues, failure to adhere to people's voice, lack of accountability and transparency. The issue of one Centre of power should be dealt with either by an act of parliament or a referendum. If you look at Zanu PF it is all about one Centre of power where power is derived by one person, so how then do you define the success of an organization when you have one person in power and once you cross the red line you are dismissed.

We saw this when Mugabe told his supporters in Bulawayo then he will drop Mnangagwa anytime and no one in the ruling party could guarantee the safety of the former VP. How then do you offer checks and balance within and outside the system.

I've seen this with MDC Tsvangirai, there is one center of power where all powers are derived from Highlands mansion and nothing else and this gives room to the wife or the internal kitchen cabinet to do anything outside the supreme body (congress) or the national standing committee. There are some decisions that should be left out to the legal board or parliament or even a commission of inquiry.

Such institutions should be established in every organization before a minister, MP or any Government official is dismissed. That's why the former first lady Grace Mugabe would dare to challenge any senior person in the Government to tore the line or the post, it is because there were no checks and balances both in the ruling party and opposition.

Respect of Human Rights

Anyone who dared to oppose Mugabe would not see the light of the day or he would receive severe punishment, which was very wrong. We have politburos, central committees, standing committees, national executives or national councils, such bodies must be left to people to make concrete decisions. It should be up to the people to make decisions without leaders necessarily interfering in internal matters. If you look at the issue of one center of power brought a lot of suffering and misery on Zimbabweans. Mugabe would have final say on everything and no one would question him. We have the likes of Itai Dzamara who wrote good and sound advice to the Government and nobody knows his whereabouts. Such issues can ruin the good image of any leadership. Human rights should be well respected. ED is still yet to pass the test of this one given the short space of time he has assumed power; people are yet to judge what kind of a leader he is. President Mnangagwa needs to be careful on this area if he wants to prevent hurdles along the way.

Clear of Foreign Policy & Property Rights

The international community is watching. Zimbabwe Government must come up with clear foreign policy and respect property rights. The previous regime led by the ousted former President Mugabe did not have a clear foreign policy. There was no consistency in everything he did. We have Dangotte who invested in almost every country within southern Africa but Zimbabwe was skipped mainly because of these issues we are raising. The new Minister of Foreign Affairs must come up with a clear foreign policy that can attract foreign direct investment and at the same time be able to protect the rights and properties of investors to guarantee their investments. We can't have the same caliber of people like Kasukuwere going around grabbing assets and properties belonging to white people. Zimbabwe is desperate for foreign direct investment and we can't temper with such issues. The Government of Zimbabwe must come out clean on foreign policy and other matters related to property rights.

Financial Discipline

Citizens mostly they look at how the Government spends proceeds from the revenues or fiscus. They diligently scrutinize the day to day running affairs of any country. If you look at Mugabe I possibly think Mugabe never enjoyed his tenure as a President why because each time Mugabe flies out he had problems with citizens. Mugabe would fly with a possible delegation of about 100 people which was not even necessary considering that in foreign nations there was adequate security for him. My question would then be was it a way to make money for his friends who were surrounding him or it was a way of creating jobs for his blue eyed boys. He would even hire a chartered plane at cost of about 400 000.00 USD and possibly he would fly to more than 3-4 nations a month so who would foot such huge and unbearable bills? Food for thought. Let's hope it is a lesson to the current President.

God Fearing Leadership

This is one of the most important attribute of good leadership. I don't know why people were castigating President Mnangagwa for going to Methodist church over the weekend? Most Zimbabweans took to the twitter and other social media channels to attack him for attending a church service. This is one of the signs of good leadership. In fact I would suggest Mnangagwa should visit all the churches and build relations with them. It is important to build such bridges and this can help our leadership. It was rare for Mugabe to visit churches. What ED did was actually good and he must keep up the standard. We are looking forward to where the President can create a ministry responsible for Religion and peace and reconciliation which can spearhead reconciliatory process in areas such as Matabeleland.

Accept Constructive Criticism

It is good and critical for leaders to accept criticism. Once a leader does that then he can pass the test for good leadership. Mugabe never accepted criticism and it was either you would fall by the way side or you become his enemy for good. No one would dare to question Mugabe even in cabinet meetings. Most people who opposed Mugabe's rule faced oppression and wrath from state agents or other arms of the Law which is not health for democracy. It is important for President Mnangagwa to got to parliament and answer some critical questions from lawmakers and this will help him to get first-hand information from the ground. Most trusted Mugabe lieutenants lied to him and never gave him the reality on the ground. There is nothing wrong with the President attending parliamentary sessions or other forums which gives me the opportunity to answer people's questions direct from the ground. I'm happy he talked of opening hotlines or suggestion boxes so that he can have dialogue with citizens.

Legitimacy Derived from Elective Mannerism

Once a leader avoids elective style of leadership then his end will be bad. If you look at ANC congress it was an elective one where all posts were open for contest and this gave room for democracy. Leaders should not threaten their supporters with unspecified actions; all posts should be open for contestation. In every institution it is very healthy to have elections, and once your ideologies differ it doesn't mean you are enemies. Since 1980 we have never heard of a Zanu PF elective congress, it was all about endorsements from day one. I think ED has one or two lessons to learn from Mugabe's rule, the same people who endorsed ED's expulsion are the same people who endorsed his dramatic return and dismissal of Mugabe as the party leader. In leadership you have to leave room for criticism and democracy to prevail. In the MDC T camp there were at least three elective congresses merely other lower positions but not presidency. So what is the difference between Tsvangirai and Mugabe if Presidency is not contested? Since MDC – Led by Tsvangirai was formed in 1999 there have been splits and squabbles and one of the major reason is one Centre of power led by the presidium. All positions should be open for contest or even ideas. So legitimacy is derived from the ballot. Coming to 2018 elections if those elections are not credible it would be a difficult time for ED and crew. ED has to pass the litmus test for democracy by making sure that the elections are not disputed.

Tinashe Eric Muzamhindo writes in his personal capacity as the head of Southern Institute of Policy Analysis and Research – SIPAR TRUST, which is responsible for policy analysis and research. He is also an academic and researcher. He holds a BA, MA from Solusi University, and he also holds a Masters of Development Studies from University of Lusaka, Zambia. He is currently enrolled at University of KwaZulu Natal University in South Africa (PhD in Development Studies). He is also an adviser to many financial and political institutions within and outside Zimbabwe. He can be contacted at

Source - Tinashe Eric Muzamhindo
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